sacred places 5.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
School of Environment
Stephen Scharper

“Sacred Places and Moral Responsibility”- Vine Deloria  Traditional ppl had to adopt various subterfuges so that their religious life could be continued  Since WWII, the introduction of corporate farming practices that have placed formerly sub marginal lands under cultivation, extensive mining and timber industry activities and a greatly expanded recreation industry, have all impacted the use of public lands in the US severely.  Many sacred places are now being used for new uses and being threatened and demolished  American Indian Religious Freedom Act  declared that it was policy of Congress to protect and preserve the inherent right of American Indians to believe, express and practice their traditional religions  Religious ceremonies that were performed for 1000s of yrs were treated as if they were popular fads or simply personal preferences religion=not seen as a need but a want/choice  Supreme Court’s conclusion destroying a religion didn’t extremely burden(harm, impede) it  Ppl have a great difficulty understanding why it’s so important that these ceremonies be held. That they be conducted at certain times and places and in private  The court declared that Indians cannot pray for the planet or for ppl and other forms of life in the manner required by their religion some ppl want the traditional healers (priests, rabbis) to pray  other ppl feel that Indian ceremonies are just leftovers of ancient life and should be abandoned these ppl ^^ don’t understand that Indians tribes are communities that r fundamentally different then other American communities  Even if someone doesn’t believe in the same religion they should respect them  4 kinds of sacred lands: 1) places to which we attribute sanctity becuz the locations is a site where within our own history something of great importance happened there. Ppl did things in that place that one day we might have to do (thats y its sacred)  Justice O Connor felt that recognizing the sacredness of a land and location might inspire individuals to have special fondness for this memorial  “Every society needs sacred places cuz they help instil a sense of social cohesion in ppl and remind them of generations that have brought them to present” 2) places where the sacred has become a part
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